How Do You Wash a Backpack Diaper Bag?

Under proper care and maintenance procedures, a backpack diaper bag can last for years. To maintain its appearance and ensure long-term use, simply handwashing can keep its shape.

Start by emptying out your diaper bag completely and opening all zippers and pockets. Next, use a slim vacuum attachment to collect any dirt and dust left behind.

Remove All the Contents

As children grow, their backpacks can quickly become disorganized with apple juice spills, forgotten bananas and broken pens. Even the most careful parents may end up with an unusable diaper bag at some point; therefore, it’s essential that parents learn how to clean it effectively so you can continue using it until your child outgrows or switches to carrying their lunch in a cooler instead.

Before washing, first consult the care instructions of your backpack to see what type of washing process will best suit it. If machine washing is allowed, place the bag inside a pillowcase or laundry bag to keep other clothing and linens out of its path during wash time and for best results hang it up for air drying afterwards.

If your backpack must be hand washed, first disassemble and empty all its contents of pockets and compartments before opening zippers or clasps and shaking upside-down over a garbage can or outside to loosen any dust particles from seams and creases. If there are detachable straps or stiffeners attached to it, remove these and set aside to be cleaned separately.

Once your bag is clear of its contents, wet a cloth with warm water and wring it out until damp but not dripping wet. Use this damp cloth to wipe down both the interior and exterior surfaces of your backpack while paying special attention to any spots or stains you would like to target. For leather backpacks, consider applying saddle soap or similar product in order to keep it looking soft and shiny.

Once your bag has been cleaned thoroughly, give it another thorough rinse with cold water to wash away any residual soap or stain residue and eliminate odors that have built up within. A little baking soda added into your rinse can also help improve its scent – for an additional dose, pat the towel dry, place in a cool and dry environment until fully air dried and away from sunlight which can fade the color and weaken material.


Before beginning your cleaning process, conduct an initial assessment of your diaper bag to make sure it can withstand being put through the washer. Consult its care instructions; some bags contain materials or dyes which won’t fare well under its agitator’s force, for instance.

If the bag is machine-washable, follow the directions found inside of it for washing. Otherwise, warm water and detergent may work to clean a backpack diaper bag by hand.

Empty and turn your backpack upside-down over a trash can to shake out any loose crumbs or dirt, then vacuum inside for any additional crumbs or animal hair that remained after emptying its contents. If your bag features removable straps or metal frames that need washing separately, remove these parts first before beginning with this step.

If your backpack contains zippered pockets or other difficult-to-reach areas, use a handheld vacuum to loosen crumbs and dirt. Use soft bristle brushes if available to remove deep stains or spots; alternatively makeup brushes or baby toothbrushes may help loosen any staining debris that has settled within.

An occasional dusting or spray with a mild disinfectant is effective at killing surface germs; however, too much abrasiveness could discolor fabric so use as little abrasive product as possible.

Before using your backpack diaper bag again, it’s advisable to dry it. This helps eliminate any remaining odors while also maintaining fresh and clean appearance of its material. If necessary, hang the bag so any creases face upward instead of downward.

Most backpack stains can be removed using a mixture of dish soap and water, rubbing the affected areas with this solution and adding baking soda for extra stain-removal power. You could also opt for nylon cleaner instead if your backpack features delicate materials or is at risk of color fading.


Your backpack’s pockets, zippers and other parts that come into direct contact with the skin (such as shoulder straps) may become filthy over time due to residue from sweat, body oils and other sources. Luckily, most of these parts can be detached and cleaned independently from its main bag.

Starting by emptying and shaking out your bag to eliminate crumbs, dust, and other debris, if applicable use a handheld vacuum or clean toothbrush to get into corners and crevices if possible if using clear backpack. For stubborn stains consider applying stain remover before trying to rub away with cloth or toothbrush.

Before getting started, be sure to read and heed the care label on your bag and follow its directions. Most diaper bags are composed of cotton or polyester material that can be washed using warm water and mild detergents; others may require specialty cleaners to keep looking their best. Occasionally leather or exotic fabrics require hand cleaning or dry-clearing with specific disinfectants for best results.

Fill a basin with approximately 6 inches of warm or cool water, mixing in some detergent. Gently scrub the bag using either cloth or sponge, paying special attention to especially dirty spots and spot stains. A toothbrush may work better for ground-in stains while sponge may do the trick when it comes to mesh areas.

Once your bag is clean, rinse it in a bowl of clean and cool water before wringing out and leaving to sit for approximately 30 minutes to allow any stubborn stains to loosen and recede. Add more stain remover as necessary or just keep rinsing until they fade away.

Now it’s time to dry and reuse the bag! Hang it to air-dry, preferably outdoors, which will help any remaining odors dissipate as well as ensure it’s completely dry before you reuse it again. If moldy growth concerns exist during drying, consider adding baking soda as part of your wash process for protection.


Air drying your backpack diaper bag is the final step in its purification. This step ensures any remaining odors dissipate and that the bag is thoroughly cleansed prior to its next use. Putting it somewhere cool but moderately warm such as an office, closet, or window is ideal – however sun exposure will speed up this process further.

If the care instructions of your bag indicate it can be machine washed, follow them; however it may be prudent to tuck it into a laundry bag or pillowcase to protect it from other clothing items during washing cycles. For bags made of fabric or using dyes that may fade over time in a washing machine setting, hand washing may be better suited.

Start by emptying all of the contents from your backpack, followed by taking steps to unhook all shoulder straps and any detachable ones that can stiffener it, flip it inside out, shake it several times to clear out loose dirt particles, then wipe down pockets, compartments and features inside for interior cleaning.

Once you’ve cleaned out the interior, be sure to wipe down the backpack’s exterior as well. A mixture of one part water to one part gentle detergent applied with a damp cloth should do just fine; alternatively you could try disinfecting spray to kill any germs while leaving your bag smelling fresh.

If your bag features tassels, take time to ensure they’re cleaned as well. Use a cloth soaked in water-soap solution or add some alcohol for better results – but be careful not to overdo it as too much liquid could damage or fade its fabric!

Once your bag has been cleaned and allowed to air dry, repack it with all of your baby supplies. Make sure that a liner for your backpack helps protect and keep the diapers, wipes, and other baby essentials extra clean.